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China floods threaten thousands

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China floods threaten thousands

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Torrential storms in southern China has forced more than 300,000 people to leave their homes, left roads impassable and damaged a reservoir dam. Three days of bad weather flooded provinces across the south and east, killing at least 16 people. Flood waters rose to nearly three metres in some places; damage is already put at nearly 150 million euros.

Central Hunan is worst-hit, along with Guangxi, Fujian and Jiangxi provinces. Weather forecasters say more rain is on the way. Apart from the human cost, the main worry now is the Kama reservoir dam in Guangxi. A 13-metre section of a flood diversion channel collapsed, forcing 15,000 people living downstream to be moved to safety. Hillsides above the reservoir are also thought to be in danger of collapse. The threat is such that Chinese premier Wen Jiabao ordered local officials to ensure the safety of the public.